Texas School for the Deaf Celebrates Deaf Awareness Week
AUSTIN, TX – Texas School for the Deaf celebrates Deaf Awareness Week, a time to promote social inclusion in the community.
FOX 7 Austin spoke to school superintendent Claire Bugen and outreach director Bobbie Beth Scoggins about the misconceptions surrounding deaf people.
“Deaf Awareness Week is primarily for the hearing world, but at TSD it’s a week where children celebrate their identity,” Bugen said.
The best thing people can do for the deaf community is to be an ally and a mythbuster, according to Bugen.
One of the biggest misconceptions about deaf people is that they all use sign language, that sign language is universal, and that deaf people are lip-readers. Like other languages, sign language exists in a unique form in different countries, from France to Pakistan, with 130 variations worldwide.
Not all deaf people are the same. Some people have been deaf all their lives, others have severe hearing loss, and some have mild cases.
“One of the things that we would really like the community of Austin to be aware of is that deaf people are here all over the city, and we are thriving in our community, and we want to encourage hearing people to look up to us and s ‘associate with us,’” Scoggins said.
Due to the many misconceptions surrounding Deaf people, they are often excluded from the labor market and face health care disparities.
The Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating school in the state of Texas.